Saturday, May 17, 2014

Round-Up:: 5 Crochet Summer Tops

The weather has been unusually warm this past week, which had me daydreaming of summer. Tank tops, flip flops, barbecues, camping, concerts, festivals...... and what better way to get ready for summer than by starting to update your wardrobe with this collection of crochet tops!!

  1. Lace Topper designed by Kimberly K. McAlindin for Red Heart Yarns - I love how this top is open-worked, lacy and designed to have a flowing effect. Perfect for summer but may also be used during cooler months with a longer sleeved shirt underneath. The downloadable directions are for sizes S-XL.
  2. Keila Top by Handy Kitty - I like this top so much, I am already working on one! You can also change the design by adjusting almost any square and triangle motif to fit the size you need.
  3. Party by the Pool Cover-up designed by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby for Yarnspirations - Cover-ups are all over the place and who doesn't love something that has a hood on it? Pattern available in sizes S-4XL
  4. Crochet Scalloped Top from Yarnspirations - I love the scalloped look of this design, however, I would most likely use a different yarn than the suggested Simply Soft. Never had much luck with that type of yarn and garments. Pattern available in sizes S-2XL
  5.  Open Air Shrug from Lion Brand Yarns - Another over-sized piece that I just love, love, love! There is something about this shrug that has a 'free spirit' feel to it.  This is guaranteed to be made this year, for myself, of course! Pattern is available in sizes S-2XL.  
I will be working on the Keila Top this weekend since the rain has found it's way back to us *and* finishing two shop pieces! Hopefully, your weekend has brought you better weather than me. In case it hasn't, maybe this round-up will inspire you to start a project where you can at least dream of the sunshine!

Happy Saturday!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

DIY:: Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is tomorrow and whether you need a last minute gift or just want to add a little something extra for Mom's big day, these are perfect!! 
You could easily do them all and have a cute little package, or pick the one that stands out and screams, "my mom would love that!"

  1. Mini Frame Fridge Magnets by Mandy at Sugar Bee Crafts - The cute factor on this is overwhelming, I LOVE IT! I may just make these for myself. 
  2. Teacup Succulents by Doreen at Hymns & Verses - What a great idea! All sorts of teacup and coffee mug options to plant your succulent in for Mom...... vintage teacup, new teacup, coffee mug with a design, saying, quote..... so many options!
  3. Mother's Day DIY Box of Chocolates by Kelly at Live Laugh Rowe - I love a great up-cycle and using things you have around the house. This DIY box of chocolates from a matchbox is perfect for giving Mom a sweet little treat!
  4. Crown Mother's Day Card (free printable!!) by Mr. Printables - Who doesn't love a crown?!?! This free printable, from Mr. Printables, comes in black, gold or blank so you (or the kids) can color it in! Write a message on the back or leave it blank. Either way, Mom has a super cool crown for the day!!
  5. Stamped Burlap Vase by Friskars - Another great up-cycle with the bonus of flowers! You could use an oatmeal container as shown in the tutorial, but I bet a tin can would work just as well! I love how easy this is and the rustic look it has. I will be making this for my Mom for sure, I have more burlap than I know what to do with!
  6. Mother's Day Card (free printable!!) by Kristi at I Should Be Mopping The Floor - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the design of this card!! Not to mention, it's a FREE printable! 
Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday Book Review

This weekend, the downtown library had one of their huge book sales! I just love going to these!! There is always a large amount of books of all kinds. The first sale of theirs that I went to was a few years ago and it was a bag of books for $5.00!

Let's get to the goods...the BOOKS!!
I have only read one of these, but I've heard/know of most of them. 

  1. Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott: A timeless classic, originally published in 1868. The edition I found at the library sale is a Complete Authorized Edition with the oldest copyright being 1911! All my research points to this book being from the 1911 print with the description of the illustrations inside and pictures of the cover. I have a newer version of this book, which I will donate now that I have found this copy. My favorite part of this find? The sticker on the inside:                                                                                              
  2. The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger: Published in 1951, this is a book I have never read but heard of. I believe the higher achieving kids in High School had it as their reading requirements. The edition I found is from 1999 and by the looks of the cover, is obviously a mass print for being handed out in schools. I am excited to read this book. I've read that it deals with personal struggles that are always relevant, high school or adult; alienation, belonging, figuring out who you are...                                                               NOTE: Strange connection warning.... Apparently this book mentions another book I found at the sale, Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. 
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Another book that I am surprised to not already own or have read *and* was High School reading. First published in 1813, this one is also a mass print, my copy being from 2003. I am sure this story is familiar to most with television shows, movies, plays..... too many adaptations to miss.
  4. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway: We all know the author, but do you know of this book? Published in 1929, my edition being the copyright renewal in 1957. Apparently, this was his first 'best-seller' and a great love story. 
  5. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen: Published in 1937, this copy is a 1963 reprint with an added introduction from Time Reading program. Something made me grab this book, I don't know what..... then, I found the connection to 'The Catcher in the Rye', and that made it more interesting!                     
  6. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster: We're 'out of Africa', might as well take 'a passage to India', right? Sorry, I couldn't resist :) First published in 1924, this copy being from 1952. Again, I don't know why I grabbed the book, but I am looking forward to reading it!
  7. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller: Another reading that I missed out on but am still interested in! I am sure most of you know that this is a major award winning play, first premiering in February of 1949. The copy I found is from 1969, but states it's the forty-second printing!! That's a lot in 20 years!
  8. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry: Denzel Washington is currently starring in this play on Broadway. This is how I knew of it and what peaked my interest. First premiering in March of 1959, this copy being from....1959! However, it's the seventh printing...
  9. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: First published in the UK in 1884, then here in 1885, the earlier publications do not contain "The" in the title. My copy is from 1959 and full of little notes from a previous owner, adding a little extra to an already familiar tale.
  10. The Day Lincoln was Shot by Jim Bishop: Published in 1955, this copy being one of the originals! The only thing missing is the jacket..... I know there are many books about the history of President Lincoln, but the age and jagged, yellow pages always get me.                                                             These next three were ones that I have seen before, either in the store or at previous book sales. I figured, 'why not?', the more books there are to read, the more occupied I will be! Besides, summer is coming! They aren't the oldies, but they sounded good at the time :)                                                                                                                                              
  11. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski: Published in 2008 - First Edition 
  12. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt: First published in 1996, this copy being the First Touchstone Edition. Most likely a re-print from when the sequel, 'Tis, was released. 
  13. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova: Published in 2010 - First Edition                                                                                     
We can't forget the kids!!!!
  1. Freddy Fox Squirrel by R. W. Eschmeyer: First published in 1952, this being the second edition from 1953. Who can resist a book with a squirrel on it??
  2. Aesops Fables by Aesops: Dover Publications 1994 - Aesops goes back to ancient times and these stories have been around for generations, teaching children morals and values.
  3. Home For A Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown: A Golden Book, sixth printing, 1976 - first published in 1956. Now, if you know my son, then you know why I got this book. He is on an endearing quest to convince us that he needs a bunny!!
  4. Animal Mix & Match by Caryl Koelling: First Delacorte print, April 1980 - first published in 1977. What isn't there to love about this book? 
You can tell the story like it's a lion.....
OR.... you can mix them up and make it silly!!

One day, I will have books everywhere. I feel they are a dying breed with all the e-readers coming out and that makes me horribly sad. Books have always brought me comfort, especially the older ones with their pages that aren't perfectly cut, the sturdiness, or lack of, in the binding. Most importantly, the smell. Books heighten the senses....

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying the start to this week!!